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Drug Use and Crime: A Historical Review of Research Conducted by the UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center

NCJ Number
Substance Use & Misuse Volume: 33 Issue: 9 Dated: July 1998 Pages: 1871-1914
M D Anglin; B Perrochet
Date Published
44 pages
This article summarizes crime-related research conducted at the Drug Abuse Research Center of the University of California at Los Angeles over the past 25 years.
Research has focused on correlates of drug use and criminal behavior and effects of treatment and criminal justice interventions on subsequent drug use and criminal offending. The relationships have been examined, both directly and by statistical modeling, to assess the extent to which criminal behavior covaries with levels of drug use. The research shows that crime is an inherent part of illegal drug use and that property crime is almost always necessary to support dependence- level use of heroin, cocaine, crack, amphetamines, and even marijuana. The research also demonstrates that sufficiently intensive and appropriately applied treatment reduces drug use and crime, that probation and parole with urine testing is less effective in reducing drug use and crime than legal supervision in conjunction with required treatment participation, and that legal supervision with monitoring and provision of treatment during and after supervision is cost-effective. The authors discuss implications of the findings and make recommendations on future directions for drug policies and research. 84 references, 4 tables, and 9 figures


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